Fantasy Football Week 6 Rankings: Running Backs

Michael WhooleySenior Writer IOctober 17, 2009

CLEVELAND - OCTOBER 04:  Cedric Benson #32 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs the ball against the Cleveland Browns during their game at Cleveland Browns Stadium on October 4, 2009 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Bengals defeated the Browns 23-20 in overtime.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

With Week 5 in the books, the running back position has really played itself out with most jobs clearly defined. While that is good news for you, it does mean your opponents have also figured it out. But, don’t despair, the Bruno Boys are on your side. We provide detailed write-ups for every position; but if gone unread, you are in no better a situation than the team you are up against this week. So sit down, read up, take notes and then hit up the Live Q and A’s we offer on a daily basis if you have any thoughts or concerns. Now, onto the Bruno Boys Fantasy Football Week 6 Running Back  rankings.

1. Cedric Benson (Cincinnati Bengals) vs. Houston

If Benson’s status as a must start wasn’t official yet, it is now as he went for 120 yards and a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens, one of the best rush defenses in the game. Benson has definitely resurrected his career in Cincinnati, so much so that he ranks first this week in the Bruno Boys rankings as he faces the Houston Texans, a rush defense that allows a ton of yardage (140.8 yards per game) as well as touchdowns (9 on the year). Benson is a great play this week.
Point Projection: 23 points

2. Michael Turner (Atlanta Falcons) vs. Chicago

While Michael Turner was enjoying a solid season to date, it was nowhere as we all had hoped after a stellar 2008; that is, until last week. Against the San Francisco 49ers Turner rushed for 97 yards while punching in a total of 3 touchdowns. This week he faces a Chicago Bears defense that is a bit banged up and not looking like their old selves. Another successful week is in the making for Turner so make sure he is plugged into your lineup.
Point Projection: 22 points

3. Ryan Grant (Green Bay Packers) vs. Detroit

Coming off of a bye-week, Ryan Grant gets to continue his solid ways against the Detroit Lions, a rush defense that allowed Grant to rack up 106 rushing yards the last time they met. In fact, in 4 career games against the Lions, Grant has averaged 84.5 total yards per contest and has racked up three scores. Look for a very nice week and quite possibly one of the best performances for Week 6.
Point Projection: 20 points

4. Maurice Jones-Drew (Jacksonville Jaguars) vs. St. Louis

After a great Week 3 against the Houston Texans in which Maurice Jones-Drew totaled 147 yards and 3 touchdowns, the Jaguars’ back has been less than stellar the past two weeks. Last week against the Seattle Seahawks, he put up a measly 57 all-purpose yards; that’s it. More is expected out of this top running back and that will happen against the St. Louis Rams who have a special talent on the defensive side of the ball of breaking anyone out of a cold spell, exemplified by their ranking of 23rd among NFL defenses. Despite his struggles, Jones-Drew must remain in your lineup this week.
Point Projection: 20 points

5. DeAngelo Williams (Carolina Panthers) @ Tampa Bay

After coming off of a bye-week, DeAngelo Williams looked a bit rusty against the Washington Redskins as he went for only 59 total yards on 20 touches. Don’t expect that shabby effort to continue as he faces the miserable Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ rush defense this week. Not only is it a great match up for Williams, but he has had success against the team as well. In fact, his last game against the Buccaneers, he went for 192 all-purpose yards and 2 touchdowns. Expect a great game this week; one that will prove that he deserves to be ranked high this week on the Bruno Boys running back rankings list.
Point Projection: 18 points

6. Matt Forte (Chicago Bears) @ Atlanta

After finally breaking out in 2009 in Week 4 against the Detroit Lions in which he went for 140 all-purpose yards and a touchdown, Matt Forte had his bye-week. To welcome him back to work, the Altanta Falcons will look to try and slow him down; a task that they could not accomplish last year as Forte went for 110 total yards and a touchdown. Look for a similar showing this week, making Forte one of the better plays and a must start in any league format. 
Point Projection: 18 points

7. Chris Johnson (Tennessee Titans) @ New England **CHECK INJURY STATUS**

In what should have been a pretty good play last week, Chris Johnson struggled against the Indianapolis Colts. The worrisome part is that he had left the game to get his ankle taped, although he did return. Overall, rushing the ball, Johnson had 9 carries for 34 yards. Those are pretty pathetic numbers; numbers that you should expect to be improved upon this week. Watch his injury status as you just never know how severe these things can be, but as long as he is suited up, he needs to be in your lineup.
Point Projection: 18 points

8. Steven Jackson (St. Louis Rams) @ Jacksonville

Once again Steven Jackson was kept from pay-dirt, yet he did go for 109 all-purpose yards against a very tough rush defense in the Minnesota Vikings. There is good news on the horizon for Jackson owners as he faces the average Jacksonville Jaguars’rush defense in week 6. Jackson will once again be fed the rock numerous times and will produce at least double-digit fantasy points. Make sure he is in your lineup this week; don’t get too crazy with the thoughts of the St. Louis Rams struggles. Jackson is a man amongst men.
Point Projection: 17 points

9. Adrian Peterson (Minnesota Vikings) vs. Baltimore

Adrian Peterson has been dominant all season long and that did not change last week against the St. Louis Rams as he went for 69 yards on the ground and 2 touchdowns, good for 18 fantasy points. The high-teens will be tougher to obtain this week against the Baltimore Ravens rush defense, and it is better to be a tad cautious, but he is still no doubt a RB1 this week in deeper leagues. If Peterson is on your roster he better be in your lineup. Otherwise, I am coming knocking on your door and it won’t be pretty.
Point Projection: 17 points

10. Clinton Portis (Washington Redskins) vs. Kansas City

After getting off to a slow start to the season that was less than Portis-esque, Clinton Portis went off on the sad sack Carolina Panthers rush defense as he went for 74 all-purpose yards and 2 touchdowns. That is a 19 fantasy point effort, and one that can be duplicated against an almost equally sorry Kansas City Chiefs’ rush defense that ranks 25th in the league against the run. Look for the Washington Redskins to once again run their offense through Portis, making him a decent RB1 option in deeper leagues.
Point Projection: 17 points

11. Knowshon Moreno (Denver Broncos) @ San Diego

With Correll Buckhalter out with injury, Knowshon Moreno was undeniably the lead back for the Denver Broncos against the New England Patriots. Having touched the ball 25 times, Moreno produced 124 total yards although he did fumble the ball once. This week he faces the San Diego Chargers, a team that has struggled mightily against opposing running backs, giving up 28.0 fantasy points per week to the position. Moreno takes a small dip in the standings if Buckhalter returns, but he would still be a great high-end RB2 option in deeper leagues. If Buckhalter does not return, though, Moreno should put up RB1 numbers.
Point Projection: 17 points

12. Rashard Mendenhall (Pittsburgh Steelers) vs. Cleveland

As I told Bruno Boys Nation all of last week, I want to see more than one performance before I jump on the Rashard Mendenhall bandwagon; well, now I am officially on. With Willie Parker out once again due to a turf toe injury, Mendenhall went for 93 yards and a touchdown on 17 touches. Granted, it was against the Detroit Lions, a putrid defense, but so are the Cleveland Browns, the team he faces this week. Even if Parker can go in this game, Mendenhall has shown an ability to not only produce these past few weeks, but also block as well. Expect Mendenhall to produce as a RB2 whether or not Parker is in the game; but if Parker does play, let Mendenhall slide a handful of spots on this ranking board.
Point Projection: 16 points

13. Kevin Smith (Detroit Lions) @ Green Bay

Even with a busted shoulder, the Detroit Lions’ Kevin Smith continues to play with the heart of a Lion; pun definitely intended. This week he faces a Green Bay Packers defense that is coming off a bye-week, so they will be fresh. That should not scare you off, though, as Smith just posted a 95 total yard performance against the formidable Pittsburgh Steelers. Look for this scrappy back to get some good yardage and a probable touchdown this week.
Point Projection: 16 points

14. Steve Slaton (Houston Texans) @ Cincinnati

After starting the season on a slower note, Steve Slaton grabbed a pair of touchdowns in Week 4 against the Oakland Raiders. While he did not reach pay-dirt in Week 5 against the Arizona Cardinals, he did go for 98 total yards; a pretty decent stat considering that it was a battle through the air most of the game. This week, he takes on a surprisingly strong Cincinnati Bengalsteam who has proven to be very scrappy. With that comes a pretty solid rush defense to date. That shouldn’t scare you off, though, as Slaton will have a big role in this game.
Point Projection: 15 points

15. Ray Rice (Baltimore Ravens) @ Minnesota

Ray Rice is becoming a very big part of the Baltimore Ravens’ offense, and despite the lack of red-zone touches, he has turned himself into a solid RB2 in deeper leagues. Heading into the past week, he was averaging triple digit yardage and had 1 touchdown in 4 games; his fifth game was just as impressive, if not more, as he accumulated 143 total yards and another touchdown. That is back to back weeks of having a lot of yardage both on the ground and in the air, so despite the fact that he is facing a tough Minnesota Vikings rush defense, he should be successful. There is no stopping this young gun. Play Rice as a solid RB2 option this week.
Point Projection: 15 points

16. Thomas Jones (New York Jets) vs. Buffalo

Although Thomas Jones was limited to 42 rushing yards by the Miami Dolphins in Week 5, he did punch in a pair of touchdowns raising his season total to 5. This week, he faces a Buffalo Bills team that is in turmoil. While their defense is solid, they still can’t find ways to win. Look for the New York Jets and Jones to take advantage of this situation and pound the rock relentlessly now that defenses have to watch the Jets receivers more with the addition of Braylon Edwards. Jones is a very nice play this week.
Point Projection: 15 points